Restaurant Impossible - Starlite Restaurant and Pizza Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Starlite Restaurant and Pizza

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Starlite Restaurant and Pizza in West Orange, New Jersey.

Starlite Restaurant and Pizza is owned by Patty Spango.

The show was contacted by her son Jim.

Patty has worked at the restaurant since she was 13 years old.

Her heart and soul is in the business.

The restaurant first opened in 1961 as a pizzeria.

It transitioned into a restaurant and bar over the years.

The restaurant was very successful in its heyday but it hasn’t changed with the times.

Patty hasn’t made any profit since 2008 and is struggling.

In order to save money Patty cut the staff dramatically.

She is now the only server working at each service and is working long hours.

The kitchen needs work and the head chef has worked there a long time.

He is difficult to work with, has lost his passion and doesn’t really care.

Jim has set up a plan to get Robert and the team in the restaurant before Patty.

He plans a false pipe fault that will allow staff to get into the restaurant undercover as an inspector.

When Patty arrives Robert is there to ambush her.

Patty starts to cry when Robert walks in.

She is excited and couldn't believe she gets her wish for Robert to help her.

Robert sits down with Patty for a brief about the restaurant.

After working at the restaurant, Patty was given the chance to buy the restaurant.

She bought the restaurant in 1989 and has invested over $1,000,000 into the restaurant.

Patty had no experience in managing a restaurant.

Her only experience was that she gained from working as a server.

Patty is weak at managing staff.

They don’t listen or respect her as she is too soft.

She works every shift except on Tuesdays and she doesn’t do lunch.

Her son Ralph runs the lunch service.

He is 37 and has no experience in the restaurant industry.

Robert tells his crew to start setting up whilst Patty shows him around the restaurant.

He thinks that the restaurant is dirty, dark and dingy.

The restaurant doesn’t feel or look at all like an Italian restaurant.

In the kitchen there is filth and grease everywhere and it is disgusting.

There are dead mice and there is bad food in the fridges as they aren’t working correctly.

The kitchen needs a deep clean and they are forced to call in a professional cleaning crew.

Robert speaks with Patty’s son Jim to find out how it got so bad at the restaurant.

Robert meets with his designers Cheryl and Tom.

They discuss ideas for fixing the restaurant.

Robert asks the team to help empty the restaurant, ready for the design team to get to work.

Robert asks the cooks to show him what they do in the kitchen.

He refuses to eat anything cooked from the kitchen based on the state of it.

However, he needs to know the skill level of the cooks and the kitchen staff.

The pizza cook Davies made a few of their famous pizzas and Robert thinks they look good.

Giuseppe, the head chef doesn’t care about food waste despite it losing Patty money.

He tells Robert that a real chef doesn’t do the cleaning.

Robert checks in with the design team who are taking down a wall and have made a huge mess!

He plans to make the menu more streamlined and classic and wants the design to follow this theme.

Robert is more worried about the kitchen than he is about the redesign.

The chef couldn’t care less and there aren’t any servers for Robert to train.

Robert meets with the crew and they decide that the restaurant needs new staff ahead of the relaunch.

They put out an urgent appeal and ad for new servers and chefs.

If they can get some new staff and a working refrigerator the relaunch has a chance of success.

The next day, Robert arrives and sees if anyone answered the ads they put out the previous day.

Fred has managed to get the candidates in that morning for interviews.

Robert checks in with the design team.

They have made great progress and Robert is impressed with the colours and the openness of the design so far.

The professional cleaners have worked all through the night and are finished.

Robert takes Patty into the kitchen so she can see how a kitchen should look.

It looks so much better than after having a team of 8 cleaning it for 12 hours!

Robert has ordered two new fridges but they aren’t sure how to remove the old ones.

Robert teaches Patty and the kitchen staff some new menu items.

These are cheap to make and will improve sales.

They sample the dishes and they love the taste of them.

The design team has finished and it is time to reveal the new look restaurant.

Robert leads Patty and her two sons into the restaurant.

They can’t believe how much better the restaurant looks.

On relaunch, the waiting customers are let into the restaurant.

They love the new look of the restaurant.

The new food is also a big hit with the customers promising to return.



What Happened Next at Starlite Restaurant and Pizza?


Two months later, business had improved by 50%.

The customers have said it's like eating at home.

They returned some customer favourites to the menu as well as keeping Roberts dishes.

Starlite Restaurant and Pizza is closed.

They closed in December 2020.

Reviews are mixed after they appeared on Restaurant Impossible.

Starlite Restaurant and Pizza was Restaurant Impossible season 13 episode 1 and aired on 9th March 2016.

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Next episode - De Rican Chef

Previous episode - La Casa Bianca

This post was last updated in December 2022.

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